Ballycarrane House, Thurles

Ballycarrane House, Thurles

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Luke Bray [abt 1730 – 1 April 1774]

The Brays were evicted from Clonmel by Cromwell, and lost everything. According to William P. Burke in his history of Clonmel  after the Restoration the Brays made a vain attempt to recover their property in Kilsheelan Street and elsewhere in the town. They subsequently obtained from Captain Mathew a farm at Galberstown, near Thurles.’[1]

Luke Bray, Galbertstown, Holy Cross,Co. Tipperary  was born about 1730. He married Mary Phillips, daughter of Samuel Phillips and Sarah Max, and niece of John Max of Killough, County Tipperary, in 1755, in the Diocese of Cashel and Emly[2].
Bray to Max. 28th Day of June 1755.
A Memorial of indented articles of agreement made and executed by and between Luke Bray of Galberstown in the County of Tipperary Gent of the one part  John Max of Killough in the said county gent of the second part and Mary Phillips niece to the said John Max spinster of the third part whereby the said  Luke Bray did agree to take to wife the said Mary Philips [sic] with all convenient speed and the said Luke Bray did covenant and agree with the said John Max and Mary Philips [sic] in consideration of ye said Marriage and  Marriage Portion to settle on the said Mary Philips [sic] by way of Joynture forty lds yearly during her natural life[3]

Three volumes of the Thurles parish registers of the Church of Ireland,  baptisms 1713-1877, marriages 1715-1845 & burials 1713-1877, were destroyed in the fire in the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922, so it has not been possible to research records and connections between the Max, Phillips and Bray families. It is not clear if Samuel Phillips was already dead by the date of his daughter’s marriage to Luke Bray, or if he disinherited her because she married a Catholic. There is family lore to suggest that this may have happened. It is clear that her uncle John Max, brother of her mother Sarah Max, and two Max cousins, made certain that she was provided for her in their wills.
The will of John Max, states:
Whereas testator’s niece Mary Bray otherwise Phillips, and wife of Luke Bray, gent, hath a provision made for her life from the death of said Luke Bray, if she survive him to issue out of the lands of Galbertstown, which the said Luke Bray holds for the term of his own life and the life of the said James Max. £20 per annum to Mary Bray out of the lands of Doggstown and Farrenlyny if she remains a widow after the death of Luke Bray and James Max.[4]

Her cousin James Max, son of John Max, mentioned her in his will.
Date: January 11, 1775
Date proved July 31, 1775
Son of John and Joan Max
Married to: Unmarried
Sons or daughters: None
Brother: Thomas Max of Killough
Others: Catherine Mockler nee Meagher; Mary Cormick nee Meagher; Michael Sweny, son of Mary Cormick; Thomas Max of Clonmel; Sessily Meagher, Anne Ford, Catherine Cormick nee Bowe
Bequeathed to mother Judith Max £20, to sister Mary Max £600 payable on marriage with consent of brother Thomas and not otherwise. To Mrs Mary Bray during viduity and no longer £20 yearly out of the Commons of Cashel, if interest continue so long also £0 immediately to buy mourning.
To John Bray, her eldest son, £50 at age 21. To Ellenor, Mary, Luke, and Robert Bray £10 each at such time as ex’rs think proper.[5]

Her cousin Thomas Max also provided for her and her children.
Part of the Will of 1777. Will of Thos Max of Killough -made 14 Mar 1777. Codicil:
"…Edm Bray & his heirs, son of Mrs Mary Bray, to have profits of Carrow subject to £21p.a willed to Mrs Mary Bray, by my brother James Max. Sister, Mary Max, willed farms of Ballyhowlahan, Synone, Ballyclerahan, Ballyfowloo, Glenbane, house in Cork City & mortgages of £280 on lands of Nodstown from Simon Foulkes, when she reaches age 18 & if she has children, the 2nd son & his issue, to have Gaile; the 3rd son & his issue to have Dogstown & Farranlyn; 4th son & his issue to have Dogastown & Farranlyny, 4th son & his heirs to have Boyceland with remainder in case of default of issue to said sons to their right heirs…"[6]


Luke Bray and Mary Phillips had seven children.
John Bray [abt. 1755-1826] Luke died before his eldest son John reached his twenty first birthday.  John married Mary Fogarty, daughter of James Fogarty and Joanna Scully of Thurles.
Robert Bray [1759-]
Edmond Bray [1761-] married Mary Keating in 1781.
Samuel Bray [1763 -]
Luke Bray [1765-1801] married Anstice Cormack. They had four children. Both parents died very young and are buried at Holy Cross Abbey.
Eleanor Bray [1767-]
Mary Bray [1769 - ] married Simon Bourke.


Luke Bray, bequeathed his interest in Galbertstown Co Tipperary to his Executrix his wife Mary Phillips in trust for his eldest son John Bray - and to herself £40 p. a. - until her son (John) is 21 yrs of age - and thence to Samuel Edmond Luke and Robert, to each of whom he leaves £200. To his daughters, Eleanor and Mary Bray £300 each at 21 yrs age marrying with their mothers consent. Mary Bray, James Max, Thomas Max (both of Killough, G….) and Francis Lodge of Bakerstown Esq. Exers. Date 3 Mar 1772.
Codicil leaves his leasehold interest in and about Thurles, to his wife, etc and cows for her use and until John is of age and she acts as executrix whilst a widow only. Bonds and Securities Notes for £800. 3 Mar 1772.
Administration of goods etc granted to Most Revd Father William and so forth to Mary Bourke otherwise Bray (wife of Simon Bourke) natural and lawful daughter - one of next of kin and ….  And one of residuary legatees in said will first sworn previously. Mary Bray, James Max, Thomas Max and Francis Lodge Exers having departed without having taken out burden of Execution Dated 8 Feb 1803.

 Luke Bray died in Thurles on the 1st April 1774 aged 71 years.[7]  He was buried in Holy Cross Abbey. His wife Mary died in 1789. She had outlived him by 15 years.
Luke Bray, his youngest son, died 4 June 1801 aet. 34. He also was buried in Holy Cross Abbey.
Geraldine Carville wrote in her book The heritage of Holy Cross:
“The people of the district had buried their dead in the adjacent graveyard in the Abbey grounds. Dr. Wall objected to this, whereupon the people buried the dead inside the Abbey." Dr. Wall, Vice Provost of Trinity College, Dublin - purchased townlands - incl. Holy Cross and Grange, etc - originally leased by Frederick Hamilton of Londonderry to William Armstrong of Farneybridge - Hamilton owned these lands in 1743 - Armstrongs still held lands in 1830. Wall family lived in Holy Cross, in the now parochial house.[8]




Luke Bray's signature in 1768. [Private Collection].



[1] The History of Clonmel, by William P. Burke, 1907. p. 317. [archive.org]
[2] Diocesan and Prerogative Marriage License Bonds, 1623-1866. [NAI]
[3] Registry of Deeds 175 412 117654
[4] Will of John Max. gentleman, of Killough, Co.Tipperary Date: probably 1769
[5] Will of James Max, gentleman, Killough, Co.Tipperary
[6] Memorials of the Dead  http://clerihan.ie/history-of-clerihan/
[7] Belfast Newsletter 15-19 April 1774 p. 2.
[8]The heritage of Holy Cross, by Geraldine Carville, Belfast, Blackstaff Press, 1973.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

The Bray Family of Thurles, County Tipperary.


My research into the Biddulph family will stop here for the moment. Any new information will continue to be added to the existing blog entries. Also later in the year I will have a look at the origins of the Biddulphs in Ireland and the many different accounts I have been given. There’s a lot more to be done!
Now I am going to have a look at another family, the Bray family of Clonmel and Thurles, County Tipperary. There are a couple of mysteries to be resolved, and a few brickwalls to be knocked down. One famous name is the Reverend Thomas Bray, [1749-1820] Archbishop of Cashel.